ON THE BALL: Out of Sheriff Garrett’s hands
By Justin Marville | Wed, April 18, 2012 - 12:00 AM
THE EVENT appeared meaningless enough. At the time, anyway.
A simple change to what seemed an otherwise insignificant clause within a new constitution that basketball was adopting earlier this year.
But the same document that initially served to extend Derrick Garrett’s tenure at the helm might actually lead the public to demand it be shortened – abruptly.
Because the man who received the backing of a nation for being brave enough to lay down the law is about to realize his Desert Eagles were swapped with water pistols three months ago.
And the men who now own the real guns might not have the mettle to wave them.
It shouldn’t have come to this, though, as fearless gunslingers usually only need to take down one man to garner such fabled reputations – and the president more than did in his first year on the job after sending Ricardo Yearwood into the sunset for last June’s now infamous dropkick.
Clearly his status wasn’t all that well received – so too the message – as some smart alecs thought it wise to tussle at the OK Corral in Saturday’s all-out brawl that made Yearwood’s jump kick look like a kind gesture.
Were they really trying to test the sheriff? Or did they sense they might be laughing in the lawman’s face?
Because sometime this weekend, Garrett won’t be laying down the law. He’ll just be reading it.
Yup, that’s just the unfortunate upshot of Articles 7 and 9 of basketball’s shiny, new constitution, where no disciplinary decisions can be ratified by the executive council and the final say on punitive rulings rests solely with the disciplinary committee.
Ordinarily this wouldn’t be an issue, considering the job of any disciplinary committee should be to, well, hand out discipline.
Only problem is that this is the same three-man committee which was more than a bit lenient in its Yearwood ruling.
This is the same committee which handed out a decision that Garrett and his executive felt necessary to overrule.
Now, this is the same committee which has the sole rule on a situation that’s possibly even worse than “the dropkick”.
Had Garrett not set a fairly high precedent of banning Yearwood for life, this matter would probably be moot.
Were his executive and the disciplinary committee even slightly close (I mean like Los Angeles sharing the same continent as New York) in philosophy then discussing this issue would be as pointless as debating what a teacher at Alexandra School should do.
However, without saying this disciplinary committee is three shawls short of being a bunch of Mother Teresas, let’s just say the proposed Yearwood sanction and the eventual ruling were light years apart. No joke.
It’s no laughing matter either that the public stood firmly behind the president’s decision to banish Yearwood from basketball. And they’re already calling for the issuing of more life bans, with some circles going as far as to suggest the permanent dismissals of both teams.
Now, in light of the dropkick, and last year’s similar UWI brawl incident, could you imagine the reaction Garrett will face if the committee decides to give out some slaps on the wrist in the form of one-year sanctions and a couple of ten-game bans?
Especially considering there wasn’t one jump kick, but multiple dropkicks, and one player striking another across the back of his head with a chair.
Yearwood and the entire Station Hill team will be champing at the bit to hear anything that doesn’t at least include one similar life ban.
None, though, will be as anxious as the man who has to read out the law.
Especially if Garrett finds out that it won’t look like he’s laying it down.
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